Originally Posted by RainbowhLizzie
Is my heater just not up to par or am I paranoid? I researched which heater would be best, and this heater came up with astounding reviews. I am really bummed at the results right now.
I am going to repeat my posts on heater settings.
The Aqueon heater costs in the neighborhood of $35. I have one in service in my DT. (29G) If the setting knob were calibrated to the exact temp shown on the heater it wouldn't surprise me to see a price of $100+. The bimetallic thermostat in use today is simply almost impossible to be more accurate than the +/- 4 degrees specified by the maker. Secondly, the scale on the heater is not that precise, the divisions are not one deg apart.
Case in point - the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-therm heater is priced in the $50 dollar range. Its manual says the settings are accurate to +/- 2 deg and they boast about the accuracy of he settings. That heater specs say it has an electronic microprocessor temp control.
Second, the standard thermometer used by most of us is not that accurate, although I don't have the exact figures for the accuracy of those ~$2 thermometers. The example that comes to mind is the check temp thermometer sold by F&S comes with a calibration card showing the actual temp the unit reads at the freezing and boiling points. It sells for ~$26. It likely has a thermocouple temperature sensor which can be compensated to be more accurate. Agent, the IR thermometer you used is probably just as inaccurate since the actual heat is read from the glass surface which provides a reflectivity and emissivity range depending on the properties of the glass. I'm not criticizing anybody, but stating that the parameters that the IR meter must account for in practice. If anybody asks how do I know this, I spent about ten plus years in the government and commercial IR fields building space IR instruments and a instrument for the railroads to detect overheated freight car wheel bearings. I also worked on the forerunner of the IR camera in use today.
Having said all that, within reason the actual temp is relatively unimportant, the important point that most experts state is consistency of the temp.
I hope that this "essay" on aquarium heating helps everybody understand what is happening in our hobby with respect to the temp of our pets home.